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Becket and other plays by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Part 5 out of 6

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Ay, ay, this faded ribbon was the mode
In Florence ten years back. What's here? a scroll
Pinned to the wreath.
My lord, you have said so much
Of this poor wreath that I was bold enough
To take it down, if but to guess what flowers
Had made it; and I find a written scroll
That seems to run in rhymings. Might I read?


Ay, if you will.

It should be if you can.
(_Reads_.) 'Dead mountain.' Nay, for who could trace a hand
So wild and staggering?

This was penn'd, Madonna,
Close to the grating on a winter morn
In the perpetual twilight of a prison,
When he that made it, having his right hand
Lamed in the battle, wrote it with his left.

O heavens! the very letters seem to shake
With cold, with pain perhaps, poor prisoner! Well,
Tell me the words--or better--for I see
There goes a musical score along with them,
Repeat them to their music.

You can touch
No chord in me that would not answer you
In music.

That is musically said.

[COUNT _takes guitar_. LADY GIOVANNA _sits listening
with wreath in her hand, and quietly removes
scroll and places it on table at the end of the song_.

COUNT (_sings, playing guitar_).

'Dead mountain flowers, dead mountain-meadow flowers,
Dearer than when you made your mountain gay,
Sweeter than any violet of to-day,
Richer than all the wide world-wealth of May,
To me, tho' all your bloom has died away,
You bloom again, dead mountain-meadow flowers.'

_Enter_ ELISABETTA _with cloth_.

A word with you, my lord!

COUNT (_singing_).
'O mountain flowers!'

A word, my lord! (_Louder_).

COUNT (_sings_).
'Dead flowers!'

A word, my lord! (_Louder_).

I pray you pardon me again!

[LADY GIOVANNA _looking at wreath_.

What is it?

My lord, we have but one piece of earthenware to
serve the salad in to my lady, and that cracked!

Why then, that flower'd bowl my ancestor
Fetch'd from the farthest east--we never use it
For fear of breakage--but this day has brought
A great occasion. You can take it, nurse!

I did take it, my lord, but what with my lady's
coming that had so flurried me, and what with the
fear of breaking it, I did break it, my lord: it is

My one thing left of value in the world!
No matter! see your cloth be white as snow!

ELISABETTA (_pointing thro' window_).
White? I warrant thee, my son, as the snow yonder
on the very tip-top o' the mountain.

And yet to speak white truth, my good old mother,
I have seen it like the snow on the moraine.

How can your lordship say so? There my lord!
[_Lays cloth_.
O my dear son, be not unkind to me.
And one word more. [_Going--returns_.

COUNT (_touching guitar_).
Good! let it be but one.

Hath she return'd thy love?

Not yet!

And will she?

COUNT (_looking at_ LADY GIOVANNA).
I scarce believe it!

Shame upon her then! [_Exit_.

COUNT (_sings_).

'Dead mountain flowers'----
Ah well, my nurse has broken
The thread of my dead flowers, as she has broken
My china bowl. My memory is as dead.
[_Goes and replaces guitar_.
Strange that the words at home with me so long
Should fly like bosom friends when needed most.
So by your leave if you would hear the rest,
The writing.

LADY GIOVANNA (_holding wreath toward him_).
There! my lord, you are a poet,
And can you not imagine that the wreath,
Set, as you say, so lightly on her head,
Fell with her motion as she rose, and she,
A girl, a child, then but fifteen, however
Flutter'd or flatter'd by your notice of her,
Was yet too bashful to return for it?

Was it so indeed? was it so? was it so?

[_Leans forward to take wreath, and touches_ LADY
GIOVANNA'S _hand, which she withdraws hastily;
he places wreath on corner of chair_.

LADY GIOVANNA (_with dignity_).
I did not say, my lord, that it was so;
I said you might imagine it was so.

_Enter_ FILIPPO _with bowl of salad, which he places on table_.

Here's a fine salad for my lady, for tho' we have been a soldier, and
ridden by his lordship's side, and seen the red of the battle-field,
yet are we now drill-sergeant to his lordship's lettuces, and profess
to be great in green things and in garden-stuff.

I thank thee, good Filippo. [_Exit_ FILIPPO.

_Enter_ ELISABETTA _with bird on a dish which she places on

ELISABETTA (close to table).
Here's a fine fowl for my lady; I had scant time to do him in. I hope
he be not underdone, for we be undone in the doing of him.

I thank you, my good nurse.

FILIPPO (_re-entering with plate of prunes_).
And here are fine fruits for my lady--prunes, my lady, from the tree
that my lord himself planted here in the blossom of his boyhood--and
so I, Filippo, being, with your ladyship's pardon, and as your
ladyship knows, his lordship's own foster-brother, would commend them
to your ladyship's most peculiar appreciation.
[_Puts plate on table_.


LADY GIOVANNA (COUNT _leads her to table_).
Will you not eat with me, my lord?

I cannot,
Not a morsel, not one morsel. I have broken
My fast already. I will pledge you. Wine!
Filippo, wine!

[_Sits near table_; FILIPPO _brings flask, fills
the_ COUNT'S _goblet, then_ LADY GIOVANNA'S;
ELISABETTA _stands at the back of_ LADY
GIOVANNA'S _chair_.

It is but thin and cold,
Not like the vintage blowing round your castle.
We lie too deep down in the shadow here.
Your ladyship lives higher in the sun.

[_They pledge each other and drink_.

If I might send you down a flask or two
Of that same vintage? There is iron in it.
It has been much commended as a medicine.
I give it my sick son, and if you be
Not quite recover'd of your wound, the wine
Might help you. None has ever told me yet
The story of your battle and your wound.

FILIPPO (_coming forward_).
I can tell you, my lady, I can tell you.

Filippo! will you take the word out of your master's own mouth?

Was it there to take? Put it there, my lord.

Giovanna, my dear lady, in this same battle
We had been beaten--they were ten to one.
The trumpets of the fight had echo'd down,
I and Filippo here had done our best,
And, having passed unwounded from the field,
Were seated sadly at a fountain side,
Our horses grazing by us, when a troop,
Laden with booty and with a flag of ours
Ta'en in the fight----

Ay, but we fought for it back,
And kill'd----


A troop of horse----

Five hundred!

Say fifty!

And we kill'd 'em by the score!


Well, well, well! I bite my tongue.

We may have left their fifty less by five.
However, staying not to count how many,
But anger'd at their flaunting of our flag,
We mounted, and we dash'd into the heart of 'em.
I wore the lady's chaplet round my neck;
It served me for a blessed rosary.
I am sure that more than one brave fellow owed
His death to the charm in it.

Hear that, my lady!

I cannot tell how long we strove before
Our horses fell beneath us; down we went
Crush'd, hack'd at, trampled underfoot. The night,
As some cold-manner'd friend may strangely do us
The truest service, had a touch of frost
That help'd to check the flowing of the blood.
My last sight ere I swoon'd was one sweet face
Crown'd with the wreath. _That_ seem'd to come and go.
They left us there for dead!

Hear that, my lady!

Ay, and I left two fingers there for dead. See, my lady!
(_Showing his hand_.)

I see, Filippo!

And I have small hope of the gentleman gout in my great toe.

And why, Filippo? [_Smiling absently_.

I left him there for dead too!

She smiles at him--how hard the woman is!
My lady, if your ladyship were not
Too proud to look upon the garland, you
Would find it stain'd----

COUNT (_rising_).
Silence, Elisabetta!

Stain'd with the blood of the best heart that ever
Beat for one woman. [_Points to wreath on chair_.

LADY GIOVANNA (_rising slowly_).
I can eat no more!

You have but trifled with our homely salad,
But dallied with a single lettuce-leaf;
Not eaten anything.

Nay, nay, I cannot.
You know, my lord, I told you I was troubled.
My one child Florio lying still so sick,
I bound myself, and by a solemn vow,
That I would touch no flesh till he were well
Here, or else well in Heaven, where all is well.

[ELISABETTA _clears table of bird and salad_; FILIPPO _snatches
up the plate of prunes and holds them to_ LADY GIOVANNA.

But the prunes, my lady, from the tree that his lordship----

Not now, Filippo. My lord Federigo,
Can I not speak with you once more alone?

You hear, Filippo? My good fellow, go!

But the prunes that your lordship----


Ay, prune our company of thine own and go!


FILIPPO (_turning_).
Well, well! the women!

And thou too leave us, my dear nurse, alone.

ELISABETTA (_folding up cloth and going_).

And me too! Ay, the dear nurse will leave you alone;
but, for all that, she that has eaten the yolk is scarce
like to swallow the shell.

[_Turns and curtseys stiffly to_ LADY GIOVANNA, _then
exit_. LADY GIOVANNA _takes out diamond necklace from casket_.

I have anger'd your good nurse; these old-world servants
Are all but flesh and blood with those they serve.
My lord, I have a present to return you,
And afterwards a boon to crave of you.

No, my most honour'd and long-worshipt lady,
Poor Federigo degli Alberighi
Takes nothing in return from you except
Return of his affection--can deny
Nothing to you that you require of him.

Then I require you to take back your diamonds--
[_Offering necklace_.
I doubt not they are yours. No other heart
Of such magnificence in courtesy
Beats--out of heaven. They seem'd too rich a prize
To trust with any messenger. I came
In person to return them. [_Count draws back_.
If the phrase
'Return' displease you, we will say--exchange them
For your--for your----

COUNT (_takes a step toward her and then back_).
For mine--and what of mine?

Well, shall we say this wreath and your sweet rhymes?

But have you ever worn my diamonds?

For that would seem accepting of your love.
I cannot brave my brother--but be sure
That I shall never marry again, my lord!



Is this your brother's order?

For he would marry me to the richest man
In Florence; but I think you know the saying--
'Better a man without riches, than riches without a man.'

A noble saying--and acted on would yield
A nobler breed of men and women. Lady,
I find you a shrewd bargainer. The wreath
That once you wore outvalues twentyfold
The diamonds that you never deign'd to wear.
But lay them there for a moment!

[_Points to table_. LADY GIOVANNA _places necklace on table_.

And be you
Gracious enough to let me know the boon
By granting which, if aught be mine to grant,
I should be made more happy than I hoped
Ever to be again.

Then keep your wreath,
But you will find me a shrewd bargainer still.
I cannot keep your diamonds, for the gift
I ask for, to my mind and at this present
Outvalues all the jewels upon earth.

It should be love that thus outvalues all.
You speak like love, and yet you love me not.
I have nothing in this world but love for you.


Love? it _is_ love, love for my dying boy,
Moves me to ask it of you.

What? my time?
Is it my time? Well, I can give my time
To him that is a part of you, your son.
Shall I return to the castle with you? Shall I
Sit by him, read to him, tell him my tales,
Sing him my songs? You know that I can touch
The ghittern to some purpose.

No, not that!
I thank you heartily for that--and you,
I doubt not from your nobleness of nature,
Will pardon me for asking what I ask.

Giovanna, dear Giovanna, I that once
The wildest of the random youth of Florence
Before I saw you--all my nobleness
Of nature, as you deign to call it, draws
From you, and from my constancy to you.
No more, but speak.

I will. You know sick people,
More specially sick children, have strange fancies,
Strange longings; and to thwart them in their mood
May work them grievous harm at times, may even
Hasten their end. I would you had a son!
It might be easier then for you to make
Allowance for a mother--her--who comes
To rob you of your one delight on earth.
How often has my sick boy yearn'd for this!
I have put him off as often; but to-day
I dared not--so much weaker, so much worse
For last day's journey. I was weeping for him:
He gave me his hand: 'I should be well again
If the good Count would give me----

Give me.

His falcon.

COUNT (_starts back_).
My falcon!

Yes, your falcon, Federigo!

Alas, I cannot!

Cannot? Even so!
I fear'd as much. O this unhappy world!
How shall I break it to him? how shall I tell him?
The boy may die: more blessed were the rags
Of some pale beggar-woman seeking alms
For her sick son, if he were like to live,
Than all my childless wealth, if mine must die.
I was to blame--the love you said you bore me--
My lord, we thank you for your entertainment,
[_With a stately curtsey_.
And so return--Heaven help him!--to our son.

COUNT (_rushes forward_).
Stay, stay, I am most unlucky, most unhappy.
You never had look'd in on me before,
And when you came and dipt your sovereign head
Thro' these low doors, you ask'd to eat with me.
I had but emptiness to set before you,
No not a draught of milk, no not an egg,
Nothing but my brave bird, my noble falcon,
My comrade of the house, and of the field.
She had to die for it--she died for you.
Perhaps I thought with those of old, the nobler
The victim was, the more acceptable
Might be the sacrifice. I fear you scarce
Will thank me for your entertainment now.

LADY GIOVANNA (_returning_).
I bear with him no longer.

No, Madonna!
And he will have to bear with it as he may.

I break with him for ever!

Yes, Giovanna,
But he will keep his love to you for ever!

You? you? not you! My brother! my hard brother!
O Federigo, Federigo, I love you!
Spite of ten thousand brothers, Federigo.
[_falls at his feet_.

COUNT (_impetuously_).
Why then the dying of my noble bird
Hath served me better than her living--then
[_Takes diamonds from table_.
These diamonds are both yours and mine--have won
Their value again--beyond all markets--there
I lay them for the first time round your neck.
[_Lays necklace round her neck_.
And then this chaplet--No more feuds, but peace,
Peace and conciliation! I will make
Your brother love me. See, I tear away
The leaves were darken'd by the battle--
[_Pulls leaves off and throws them down_.
--crown you
Again with the same crown my Queen of Beauty.
[_Places wreath on her head_.
Rise--I could almost think that the dead garland
Will break once more into the living blossom.
Nay, nay, I pray you rise.
[_Raises her with both hands_.
We two together
Will help to heal your son--your son and mine--
We shall do it--we shall do it. [_Embraces her_.
The purpose of my being is accomplish'd,
And I am happy!

And I too, Federigo.


'A surface man of theories, true to none.'


Mr. PHILIP EDGAR (_afterwards_ Mr. HAROLD).
FARMER STEER (DORA _and_ EVA'S _Father_).
Mr. WILSON (_a Schoolmaster_).
DAN SMITH | _Farm Labourers_.
MILLY | _Farm Servants_.

_Farm Servants, Labourers, etc_.



SCENE.--_Before Farmhouse_.

Farming Men and Women. Farming Men carrying forms, &c., Women carrying
baskets of knives and forks, &c.

Be thou a-gawin' to the long barn?

Ay, to be sewer! Be thou?

Why, o' coorse, fur it be the owd man's birthdaaey. He be heighty this
very daaey, and 'e telled all on us to be i' the long barn by one
o'clock, fur he'll gie us a big dinner, and haaefe th' parish'll be
theer, an' Miss Dora, an' Miss Eva, an' all!

Miss Dora be coomed back, then?

Ay, haaefe an hour ago. She be in theer, now. (_Pointing to house_.)
Owd Steer wur afeaerd she wouldn't be back i' time to keep his
birthdaaey, and he wur in a tew about it all the murnin'; and he sent
me wi' the gig to Littlechester to fetch 'er; and 'er an' the owd man
they fell a kissin' o' one another like two sweet-'arts i' the poorch
as soon as he clapt eyes of 'er.

Foaelks says he likes Miss Eva the best.

Naaey, I knaws nowt o' what foaelks says, an' I caaeres nowt neither.
Foaelks doesn't hallus knaw thessens; but sewer I be, they be two o'
the purtiest gels ye can see of a summer murnin'.

Beaent Miss Eva gone off a bit of 'er good looks o' laaete?

Noae, not a bit.

Why cooem awaaey, then, to the long barn.

DORA _looks out of window. Enter_ DOBSON.

DORA (_singing_).

The town lay still in the low sun-light,
The hen cluckt late by the white farm gate,
The maid to her dairy came in from the cow,
The stock-dove coo'd at the fall of night,
The blossom had open'd on every bough;
O joy for the promise of May, of May,
O joy for the promise of May.

(_Nodding at_ DOBSON.) I'm coming down, Mr. Dobson. I haven't seen Eva
yet. Is she anywhere in the garden?

Noae, Miss. I ha'n't seed 'er neither.

DORA (_enters singing_).

But a red fire woke in the heart of the town,
And a fox from the glen ran away with the hen,
And a cat to the cream, and a rat to the cheese;
And the stock-dove coo'd, till a kite dropt down,
And a salt wind burnt the blossoming trees;
O grief for the promise of May, of May,
O grief for the promise of May.

I don't know why I sing that song; I don't love it.

Blessings on your pretty voice, Miss Dora. Wheer did they larn ye

In Cumberland, Mr. Dobson.

An' how did ye leaeve the owd uncle i' Coomberland?

Getting better, Mr. Dobson. But he'll never be the same man again.

An' how d'ye find the owd man 'ere?

As well as ever. I came back to keep his birthday.

Well, I be coomed to keep his birthdaaey an' all. The owd man be
heighty to-daaey, beaent he?

Yes, Mr. Dobson. And the day's bright like a friend, but the wind east
like an enemy. Help me to move this bench for him into the sun. (_They
move bench_.) No, not that way--here, under the apple tree. Thank you.
Look how full of rosy blossom it is.
[_Pointing to apple tree_.

Theer be redder blossoms nor them, Miss Dora.

Where do they blow, Mr. Dobson?

Under your eyes, Miss Dora.

Do they?

And your eyes be as blue as----

What, Mr. Dobson? A butcher's frock?

Noae, Miss Dora; as blue as----

Bluebell, harebell, speedwell, bluebottle, succory, forget-me-not?

Noae, Miss Dora; as blue as----

The sky? or the sea on a blue day?

Naaey then. I meaen'd they be as blue as violets.

Are they?

Theer ye goaes ageaen, Miss, niver believing owt I says to ye--hallus
a-fobbing ma off, tho' ye knaws I love ye. I warrants ye'll think moor
o' this young Squire Edgar as ha' coomed among us--the Lord knaws how
--ye'll think more on 'is little finger than hall my hand at the

Perhaps, Master Dobson. I can't tell, for I have never seen him. But
my sister wrote that he was mighty pleasant, and had no pride in him.

He'll be arter you now, Miss Dora.

Will he? How can I tell?

He's been arter Miss Eva, haaen't he?

Not that I know.

Didn't I spy 'em a-sitting i' the woodbine harbour togither?

What of that? Eva told me that he was taking her likeness. He's an

What's a hartist? I doaent believe he's iver a 'eart under his
waistcoat. And I tells ye what, Miss Dora: he's no respect for the
Queen, or the parson, or the justice o' peace, or owt. I ha' heaerd 'im
a-gawin' on 'ud make your 'air--God bless it!--stan' on end. And wuss
nor that. When theer wur a meeting o' farmers at Littlechester t'other
daaey, and they was all a-crying out at the bad times, he cooms up, and
he calls out among our oaen men, 'The land belongs to the

And what did _you_ say to that?

Well, I says, s'pose my pig's the land, and you says it belongs to the
parish, and theer be a thousand i' the parish, taaekin' in the women
and childer; and s'pose I kills my pig, and gi'es it among 'em, why
there wudn't be a dinner for nawbody, and I should ha' lost the pig.

And what did he say to that?

Nowt--what could he saaey? But I taaekes 'im fur a bad lot and a burn
fool, and I haaetes the very sight on him.

DORA. (_Looking at_ DOBSON.)
Master Dobson, you are a comely man to look at.

I thank you for that, Miss Dora, onyhow.

Ay, but you turn right ugly when you're in an ill temper; and I
promise you that if you forget yourself in your behaviour to this
gentleman, my father's friend, I will never change word with you

_Enter_ FARMING MAN _from barn_.

Miss, the farming men 'ull hev their dinner i' the long barn, and the
master 'ud be straaenge an' pleased if you'd step in fust, and see that
all be right and reg'lar fur 'em afoor he cooem.

I go. Master Dobson, did you hear what I said?

Yeas, yeas! I'll not meddle wi' 'im if he doaent meddle wi' meae.
(_Exit_ DORA.) Coomly, says she. I niver thowt o' mysen i' that waaey;
but if she'd taaeke to ma i' that waaey, or ony waaey, I'd slaaeve out my
life fur 'er. 'Coomly to look at,' says she--but she said it
spiteful-like. To look at--yeas, 'coomly'; and she mayn't be so fur out
theer. But if that be nowt to she, then it be nowt to me. (_Looking off
stage_.) Schoolmaster! Why if Steer han't haxed schoolmaster to
dinner, thaw 'e knaws I was hallus ageaen heving schoolmaster i' the
parish! fur him as be handy wi' a book bean't but haaefe a hand at a

_Enter_ WILSON.

Well, Wilson. I seed that one cow o' thine i' the pinfold ageaen as I
wur a-coomin' 'ere.

Very likely, Mr. Dobson. She _will_ break fence.
I can't keep her in order.

An' if tha can't keep thy one cow i' horder, how can tha keep all thy
scholards i' horder? But let that goae by. What dost a knaw o' this Mr.
Hedgar as be a-lodgin' wi' ye? I coom'd upon 'im t'other daaey lookin'
at the coontry, then a-scrattin upon a bit o' paaeper, then a-lookin'
ageaen; and I taaeked 'im fur soom sort of a land-surveyor--but a beaent.

He's a Somersetshire man, and a very civil-spoken gentleman.

Gentleman! What be he a-doing here ten mile an' moor fro' a raaeil? We
laaeys out o' the waaey fur gentlefoaelk altogither--leastwaaeys they
niver cooms 'ere but fur the trout i' our beck, fur they be knaw'd as
far as Littlechester. But 'e doaent fish neither.

Well, it's no sin in a gentleman not to fish.

Noa, but I haaetes 'im.

Better step out of his road, then, for he's walking to us, and with a
book in his hand.

An' I haaetes boooeks an' all, fur they puts foaelk off the owd waaeys.

_Enter_ EDGAR, _reading--not seeing_ DOBSON _and_ WILSON.

This author, with his charm of simple style
And close dialectic, all but proving man
An automatic series of sensations,
Has often numb'd me into apathy
Against the unpleasant jolts of this rough road
That breaks off short into the abysses--made me
A Quietist taking all things easily.

DOBSON. (_Aside_.)
There mun be summut wrong theer, Wilson, fur I doaent understan' it.

WILSON. (_Aside_.)
Nor I either, Mr. Dobson.

DOBSON. (_Scornfully_.)
An' thou doaent understan' it neither--and thou schoolmaster an' all.

What can a man, then, live for but sensations,
Pleasant ones? men of old would undergo
Unpleasant for the sake of pleasant ones
Hereafter, like the Moslem beauties waiting
To clasp their lovers by the golden gates.
For me, whose cheerless Houris after death
Are Night and Silence, pleasant ones--the while--
If possible, here! to crop the flower and pass.

Well, I never 'eard the likes o' that afoor.

WILSON. (_Aside_.)
But I have, Mr. Dobson. It's the old Scripture text, 'Let us eat and
drink, for to-morrow we die.' I'm sorry for it, for, tho' he never
comes to church, I thought better of him.

'What are we,' says the blind old man in Lear?
'As flies to the Gods; they kill us for their sport.'

DOBSON. (_Aside_.)
Then the owd man i' Lear should be shaaemed of hissen, but noaen o' the
parishes goae's by that naaeme 'ereabouts.

The Gods! but they, the shadows of ourselves,
Have past for ever. It is Nature kills,
And not for _her_ sport either. She knows nothing.
Man only knows, the worse for him! for why
Cannot _he_ take his pastime like the flies?
And if my pleasure breed another's pain,
Well--is not that the course of Nature too,
From the dim dawn of Being--her main law
Whereby she grows in beauty--that her flies
Must massacre each other? this poor Nature!

Natur! Natur! Well, it be i' _my_ natur to knock 'im o' the 'eaed now;
but I weaent.

A Quietist taking all things easily--why--
Have I been dipping into this again
To steel myself against the leaving her?
(_Closes book, seeing_ WILSON.)
Good day!

Good day, sir.

(DOBSON _looks hard at_ EDGAR.)

Have I the pleasure, friend, of knowing you?


Good day, then, Dobson. [_Exit_.

'Good daaey then, Dobson!' Civil-spoken i'deed! Why, Wilson, tha 'eaerd
'im thysen--the feller couldn't find a Mister in his mouth fur me, as
farms five hoonderd haaecre.

You never find one for me, Mr. Dobson.

Noae, fur thou be nobbut schoolmaster; but I taaekes 'im fur a Lunnun
swindler, and a burn fool.

He can hardly be both, and he pays me regular
every Saturday.

Yeas; but I haaetes 'im.

_Enter_ STEER, FARM MEN _and_ WOMEN.

STEER. (_Goes and sits under apple tree_.)
Hev' ony o' ye seen Eva?

Noae, Mr. Steer.

Well, I reckons they'll hev' a fine cider-crop to-year if the blossom
'owds. Good murnin', neighbours, and the saaeme to you, my men. I
taaekes it kindly of all o' you that you be coomed--what's the
newspaaeper word, Wilson?--celebrate--to celebrate my birthdaaey i' this
fashion. Niver man 'ed better friends, and I will saaey niver master
'ed better men: fur thaw I may ha' fallen out wi' ye sometimes, the
fault, mebbe, wur as much mine as yours; and, thaw I says it mysen,
niver men 'ed a better master--and I knaws what men be, and what
masters be, fur I wur nobbut a laaebourer, and now I be a landlord--
burn a plowman, and now, as far as money goaes, I be a gentleman, thaw
I beaent naw scholard, fur I 'ednt naw time to maaeke mysen a scholard
while I wur maaekin' mysen a gentleman, but I ha taaeen good care to
turn out boaeth my darters right down fine laaedies.

An' soae they be.

Soae they be! soae they be!

The Lord bless boaeth on 'em!

An' the saaeme to you, Master.

And long life to boaeth on 'em. An' the saaeme to you, Master Steer,

Thank ye!

_Enter_ EVA.
Wheer 'asta been?

EVA. (_Timidly_.)
Many happy returns of the day, father.

They can't be many, my dear, but I 'oaepes they'll be 'appy.

Why, tha looks haaele anew to last to a hoonderd.

An' why shouldn't I last to a hoonderd? Haaele! why shouldn't I be
haaele? fur thaw I be heighty this very daaey, I niver 'es sa much as
one pin's prick of paaein; an' I can taaeke my glass along wi' the
youngest, fur I niver touched a drop of owt till my oaen wedding-daaey,
an' then I wur turned huppads o' sixty. Why shouldn't I be haaele? I
ha' plowed the ten-aaecre--it be mine now--afoor ony o' ye wur burn--ye
all knaws the ten-aaecre--I mun ha' plowed it moor nor a hoonderd
times; hallus hup at sunrise, and I'd drive the plow straaeit as a line
right i' the faaece o' the sun, then back ageaen, a-follering my oaen
shadder--then hup ageaen i' the faaece o' the sun. Eh! how the sun 'ud
shine, and the larks 'ud sing i' them daaeys, and the smell o' the
mou'd an' all. Eh! if I could ha' gone on wi' the plowin' nobbut the
smell o' the mou'd 'ud ha' maaede ma live as long as Jerusalem.

Methusaleh, father.

Ay, lass, but when thou be as owd as me thou'll put one word fur
another as I does.

But, Steer, thaw thou be haaele anew I seed tha a-limpin' up just now
wi' the roomatics i' the knee.

Roomatics! Noae; I laaeme't my knee last night running arter a thief.
Beaent there house-breaekers down i' Littlechester, Dobson--doaent ye
hear of ony?

Ay, that there be. Immanuel Goldsmiths was broke into o' Monday night,
and ower a hoonderd pounds worth o' rings stolen.

So I thowt, and I heaerd the winder--that's the winder at the end o'
the passage, that goaes by thy chaumber. (_Turning to_ EVA.) Why, lass,
what maaeakes tha sa red? Did 'e git into thy chaumber?


Well, I runned arter thief i' the dark, and fell ageaen coalscuttle and
my kneeae gev waaey or I'd ha' cotched 'im, but afoor I coomed up he got
thruff the winder ageaen.

Got thro' the window again?

Ay, but he left the mark of 'is foot i' the flowerbed; now theer be
noaen o' my men, thinks I to mysen, 'ud ha' done it 'cep' it were Dan
Smith, fur I cotched 'im once a-stealin' coaels an' I sent fur 'im, an'
I measured his foot wi' the mark i' the bed, but it wouldn't fit--
seeaems to me the mark wur maaede by a Lunnun boot. (_Looks at_ EVA.)
Why, now, what maaekes tha sa white?

Fright, father!

Maaeke thysen eaesy. I'll hev the winder naaeiled up, and put Towser
under it.

EVA. (_Clasping her hands_.)
No, no, father! Towser'll tear him all to pieces.

Let him keep awaaey, then; but coom, coom! let's be gawin. They ha'
broached a barrel of aaele i' the long barn, and the fiddler be theer,
and the lads and lasses 'ull hev a dance.

EVA. (_Aside_.)
Dance! small heart have I to dance. I should seem to be dancing upon a

Wheer be Mr. Edgar? about the premises?

Hallus about the premises!

So much the better, so much the better. I likes 'im, and Eva likes
'im. Eva can do owt wi' 'im; look for 'im, Eva, and bring 'im to the
barn. He 'ant naw pride in 'im, and we'll git 'im to speechify for us
arter dinner.

Yes, father! [_Exit_.

Coom along then, all the rest o' ye! Churchwarden be a coomin, thaw me
and 'im we niver 'grees about the tithe; and Parson mebbe, thaw he
niver mended that gap i' the glebe fence as I telled 'im; and
Blacksmith, thaw he niver shoes a herse to my likings; and Baaeker,
thaw I sticks to hoaem-maaede--but all on 'em welcome, all on 'em
welcome; and I've hed the long barn cleared out of all the machines,
and the sacks, and the taaeters, and the mangles, and theer'll be room
anew for all o' ye. Foller me.

Yeas, yeas! Three cheers for Mr. Steer!
[_All exeunt except_ DOBSON _into barn_.

_Enter_ EDGAR.

DOBSON (_who is going, turns_).
Squire!--if so be you be a squire.

Dobbins, I think.

Dobbins, you thinks; and I thinks ye weaers a Lunnun boot.


And I thinks I'd like to taaeke the measure o' your foot.

Ay, if you'd like to measure your own length upon the grass.

Coom, coom, that's a good un. Why, I could throw four o' ye; but I
promised one of the Misses I wouldn't meddle wi' ye, and I weaent.
[_Exit into barn_.

Jealous of me with Eva! Is it so?
Well, tho' I grudge the pretty jewel, that I
Have worn, to such a clod, yet that might be
The best way out of it, if the child could keep
Her counsel. I am sure I wish her happy.
But I must free myself from this entanglement.
I have all my life before me--so has she--
Give her a month or two, and her affections
Will flower toward the light in some new face.
Still I am half-afraid to meet her now.
She will urge marriage on me. I hate tears.
Marriage is but an old tradition. I hate
Traditions, ever since my narrow father,
After my frolic with his tenant's girl,
Made younger elder son, violated the whole
Tradition of our land, and left his heir,
Born, happily, with some sense of art, to live
By brush and pencil. By and by, when Thought
Comes down among the crowd, and man perceives that
The lost gleam of an after-life but leaves him
A beast of prey in the dark, why then the crowd
May wreak my wrongs upon my wrongers. Marriage!
That fine, fat, hook-nosed uncle of mine, old Harold,
Who leaves me all his land at Littlechester,
He, too, would oust me from his will, if I
Made such a marriage. And marriage in itself--
The storm is hard at hand will sweep away
Thrones, churches, ranks, traditions, customs, marriage
One of the feeblest! Then the man, the woman,
Following their best affinities, will each
Bid their old bond farewell with smiles, not tears;
Good wishes, not reproaches; with no fear
Of the world's gossiping clamour, and no need
Of veiling their desires.
Who shrieks by day at what she does by night,
Would call this vice; but one time's vice may be
The virtue of another; and Vice and Virtue
Are but two masks of self; and what hereafter
Shall mark out Vice from Virtue in the gulf
Of never-dawning darkness?

_Enter_ EVA.

My sweet Eva,
Where have you lain in ambush all the morning?
They say your sister, Dora, has return'd,
And that should make you happy, if you love her!
But you look troubled.

Oh, I love her so,
I was afraid of her, and I hid myself.
We never kept a secret from each other;
She would have seen at once into my trouble,
And ask'd me what I could not answer. Oh, Philip,
Father heard you last night. Our savage mastiff,
That all but kill'd the beggar, will be placed
Beneath the window, Philip.

Savage, is he?
What matters? Come, give me your hand and kiss me
This beautiful May-morning.

The most beautiful
May we have had for many years!

And here
Is the most beautiful morning of this May.
Nay, you must smile upon me! There--you make
The May and morning still more beautiful,
You, the most beautiful blossom of the May.

Dear Philip, all the world is beautiful
If we were happy, and could chime in with it.

True; for the senses, love, are for the world;
That for the senses.


And when the man,
The child of evolution, flings aside
His swaddling-bands, the morals of the tribe,
He, following his own instincts as his God,
Will enter on the larger golden age;
No pleasure then taboo'd: for when the tide
Of full democracy has overwhelm'd
This Old world, from that flood will rise the New,
Like the Love-goddess, with no bridal veil,
Ring, trinket of the Church, but naked Nature
In all her loveliness.

What are you saying?

That, if we did not strain to make ourselves
Better and higher than Nature, we might be
As happy as the bees there at their honey
In these sweet blossoms.

Yes; how sweet they smell!

There! let me break some off for you.
[_Breaking branch off_.

My thanks.
But, look, how wasteful of the blossom you are!
One, two, three, four, five, six--you have robb'd poor father
Of ten good apples. Oh, I forgot to tell you
He wishes you to dine along with us,
And speak for him after--you that are so clever!

I grieve I cannot; but, indeed--

What is it?

Well, business. I must leave you, love, to-day.

Leave me, to-day! And when will you return?

I cannot tell precisely; but--

But what?

I trust, my dear, we shall be always friends.

After all that has gone between us--friends!
What, only friends? [_Drops branch_.

All that has gone between us
Should surely make us friends.

But keep us lovers.

Child, do you love me now?

Yes, now and ever.

Then you should wish us both to love for ever.
But, if you _will_ bind love to one for ever,
Altho' at first he take his bonds for flowers,
As years go on, he feels them press upon him,
Begins to flutter in them, and at last
Breaks thro' them, and so flies away for ever;
While, had you left him free use of his wings,
Who knows that he had ever dream'd of flying?

But all that sounds so wicked and so strange;
'Till death us part'--those are the only words,
The true ones--nay, and those not true enough,
For they that love do not believe that death
Will part them. Why do you jest with me, and try
To fright me? Tho' you are a gentleman,
I but a farmer's daughter--

Tut! you talk
Old feudalism. When the great Democracy
Makes a new world--

And if you be not jesting,
Neither the old world, nor the new, nor father,
Sister, nor you, shall ever see me more.

EDGAR (_moved_).
Then--(_aside_) Shall I say it?--(_aloud_) fly with me to-day.

No! Philip, Philip, if you do not marry me,
I shall go mad for utter shame and die.

Then, if we needs must be conventional,
When shall your parish-parson bawl our banns
Before your gaping clowns?

Not in our church--
I think I scarce could hold my head up there.
Is there no other way?

Yes, if you cared
To fee an over-opulent superstition,
Then they would grant you what they call a licence
To marry. Do you wish it?

_Do_ I wish it?

In London.

You will write to me?

I will.

And I will fly to you thro' the night, the storm--
Yes, tho' the fire should run along the ground,
As once it did in Egypt. Oh, you see,
I was just out of school, I had no mother--
My sister far away--and you, a gentleman,
Told me to trust you: yes, in everything--
_That_ was the only _true_ love; and I trusted--
Oh, yes, indeed, I would have died for you.
How could you--Oh, how could you?--nay, how could I?
But now you will set all right again, and I
Shall not be made the laughter of the village,
And poor old father not die miserable.

DORA (_singing in the distance_).

'O joy for the promise of May, of May,
O joy for the promise of May.'

Speak not so loudly; that must be your sister.
You never told her, then, of what has past
Between us.


Do not till I bid you.

No, Philip, no. [_Turns away_.

EDGAR (_moved_).
How gracefully there she stands
Weeping--the little Niobe! What! we prize
The statue or the picture all the more
When we have made them ours! Is she less loveable,
Less lovely, being wholly mine? To stay--
Follow my art among these quiet fields,
Live with these honest folk--
And play the fool!
No! she that gave herself to me so easily
Will yield herself as easily to another.

Did you speak, Philip?

Nothing more, farewell.

[_They embrace_.

DORA (_coming nearer_).

'O grief for the promis May, of May,
O grief for the promise of May.'

EDGAR (_still embracing her_).
Keep up your heart until we meet again.

If that should break before we meet again?

Break! nay, but call for Philip when you will,
And he returns.

Heaven hears you, Philip Edgar!

EDGAR (_moved_).
And _he_ would hear you even from the grave.
Heaven curse him if he come not at your call!

_Enter_ DORA.

Well, Eva!

Oh, Dora, Dora, how long you have been away from home! Oh, how often I
have wished for you! It seemed to me that we were parted for ever.

For ever, you foolish child! What's come over you? We parted like the
brook yonder about the alder island, to come together again in a
moment and to go on together again, till one of us be married. But
where is this Mr. Edgar whom you praised so in your first letters? You
haven't even mentioned him in your last?

He has gone to London.

Ay, child; and you look thin and pale. Is it for his absence? Have you
fancied yourself in love with him? That's all nonsense, you know, such
a baby as you are. But you shall tell me all about it.

Not now--presently. Yes, I have been in trouble, but I am happy--I
think, quite happy now.

DORA (_taking EVA'S hand_).
Come, then, and make them happy in the long barn, for father is in
his glory, and there is a piece of beef like a house-side, and a
plum-pudding as big as the round haystack. But see they are coming
out for the dance already. Well, my child, let us join them.

_Enter all from barn laughing_. EVA _sits reluctantly
under apple tree_. STEER _enters smoking, sits by_ EVA.



Five years have elapsed between Acts I. and II.

SCENE.--_A meadow. On one side a pathway going over
a rustic bridge. At back the farmhouse among
trees. In the distance a church spire_.


So the owd uncle i' Coomberland be deaed, Miss Dora, beaent he?

Yes, Mr. Dobson, I've been attending on his death-bed and his burial.

It be five year sin' ye went afoor to him, and it seems to me nobbut
t'other day. Hesn't he left ye nowt?

No, Mr. Dobson.

But he were mighty fond o' ye, warn't he?

Fonder of poor Eva--like everybody else.

DOBSON (_handing_ DORA _basket of roses_).
Not like me, Miss Dora; and I ha' browt these roses to ye--I forgits
what they calls 'em, but I hallus gi'ed soom on 'em to Miss Eva at
this time o' year. Will ya taaeke 'em? fur Miss Eva, she set the bush
by my dairy winder afoor she went to school at Littlechester--so I
allus browt soom on 'em to her; and now she be gone, will ye taaeke
'em, Miss Dora?

I thank you. They tell me that yesterday you mentioned her name too
suddenly before my father. See that you do not do so again!

Noae; I knaws a deal better now. I seed how the owd man wur vext.

I take them, then, for Eva's sake.
[_Takes basket, places some in her dress_.

Eva's saaeke. Yeas. Poor gel, poor gel! I can't abeaer to think on 'er
now, fur I'd ha' done owt fur 'er mysen; an' ony o' Steer's men, an'
ony o' my men 'ud ha' done owt fur 'er, an' all the parish 'ud ha'
done owt fur 'er, fur we was all on us proud on 'er, an' them theer be
soom of her oaen roses, an' she wur as sweet as ony on 'em--the Lord
bless 'er--'er oaen sen; an' weaent ye taaeke 'em now, Miss Dora, fur 'er
saaeke an' fur my saaeke an' all?

Do you want them back again?

Noae, noae! Keep 'em. But I hed a word to saaey to ye.

Why, Farmer, you should be in the hayfield looking after your men; you
couldn't have more splendid weather.

I be a going theer; but I thowt I'd bring tha them roses fust. The
weather's well anew, but the glass be a bit shaaeky. S'iver we've led
moaest on it.

Ay! but you must not be too sudden with it either, as you were last
year, when you put it in green, and your stack caught fire.

I were insured, Miss, an' I lost nowt by it. But I weaent be too sudden
wi' it; and I feel sewer, Miss Dora, that I ha' been noaen too sudden
wi' you, fur I ha' sarved for ye well nigh as long as the man sarved
for 'is sweet'art i' Scriptur'. Weaent ye gi'e me a kind answer at

I have no thought of marriage, my friend. We have been in such grief
these five years, not only on my sister's account, but the ill success
of the farm, and the debts, and my father's breaking down, and his
blindness. How could I think of leaving him?

Eh, but I be well to do; and if ye would nobbut hev me, I would taaeke
the owd blind man to my oaen fireside. You should hev him allus wi' ye.

You are generous, but it cannot be. I cannot love you; nay, I think I
never can be brought to love any man. It seems to me that I hate men,
ever since my sister left us. Oh, see here. (_Pulls out a letter_.) I
wear it next my heart. Poor sister, I had it five years ago. 'Dearest
Dora,--I have lost myself, and am lost for ever to you and my poor
father. I thought Mr. Edgar the best of men, and he has proved himself
the worst. Seek not for me, or you may find me at the bottom of the

Be that my fault?

No; but how should I, with this grief still at my heart, take to the
milking of your cows, the fatting of your calves, the making of your
butter, and the managing of your poultry?

Naae'y, but I hev an owd woman as 'ud see to all that; and you should
sit i' your oaen parlour quite like a laaedy, ye should!

It cannot be.

And plaaey the pianner, if ye liked, all daaey long, like a laaedy, ye
should an' all.

It cannot be.

And I would loove tha moor nor ony gentleman 'ud I loove tha.

No, no; it cannot be.

And p'raps ye hears 'at I soomtimes taaekes a drop too much; but that
be all along o' you, Miss, because ye weaent hev me; but, if ye would,
I could put all that o' one side eaesy anew.

Cannot you understand plain words, Mr. Dobson? I tell you, it cannot

Eh, lass! Thy feyther eddicated his darters to marry gentlefoaelk, and
see what's coomed on it.

That is enough, Farmer Dobson. You have shown me that, though fortune
had born _you_ into the estate of a gentleman, you would still have
been Farmer Dobson. You had better attend to your hayfield. Good

'Farmer Dobson'! Well, I be Farmer Dobson; but I thinks Farmer
Dobson's dog 'ud ha' knaw'd better nor to cast her sister's misfortin
inter 'er teeth arter she'd been a-readin' me the letter wi' 'er voice
a-shaaekin', and the drop in 'er eye. Theer she goaes! Shall I foller
'er and ax 'er to maaeke it up? Noae, not yet. Let 'er cool upon it; I
likes 'er all the better fur taaekin' me down, like a laaedy, as she be.
Farmer Dobson! I be Farmer Dobson, sewer anew; but if iver I cooms
upo' Gentleman Hedgar ageaen, and doaent laaey my cartwhip athurt 'is
shou'ders, why then I beaent Farmer Dobson, but summun else--blaaeme't
if I beaent!

_Enter_ HAYMAKERS _with a load of hay_.

The last on it, eh?


Hoaem wi' it, then. [_Exit surlily_.

Well, it be the last loaed hoaem.

Yeas, an' owd Dobson should be glad on it. What maaekes 'im allus sa

Glum! he be wus nor glum. He coom'd up to me yisterdaaey i' the
haaeyfield, when meae and my sweet'art was a workin' along o' one side
wi' one another, and he sent 'im awaaey to t'other end o' the field;
and when I axed 'im why, he telled me 'at sweet'arts niver worked well
togither; and I telled _'im_ 'at sweet'arts allus worked best
togither; and then he called me a rude naaeme, and I can't abide 'im.

Why, lass, doaent tha knaw he be sweet upo' Dora Steer, and she weaent
sa much as look at 'im? And wheniver 'e sees two sweet'arts togither
like thou and me, Sally, he be fit to bust hissen wi' spites and

Let 'im bust hissen, then, for owt _I_ cares.

Well but, as I said afoor, it be the last loaed hoaem; do thou and thy
sweet'art sing us hoaem to supper--'The Last Loaed Hoaem.'

Ay! 'The Last Loaed Hoaem.'


What did ye do, and what did ye saaey,
Wi' the wild white rose, an' the woodbine sa gaae'y,
An' the midders all mow'd, an' the sky sa blue--
What did ye saaey, and what did ye do,
When ye thowt there were nawbody watchin' o' you,
And you an' your Sally was forkin' the haaey,
At the end of the daaey,
For the last loaed hoaem?

What did we do, and what did we saaey,
Wi' the briar sa green, an' the willer sa graaey,
An' the midders all mow'd, an' the sky sa blue--
Do ye think I be gawin' to tell it to you,
What we mowt saaey, and what we mowt do,
When me an' my Sally was forkin' the haaey,
At the end of the daaey,
For the last loaed hoaem?

But what did ye saaey, and what did ye do,
Wi' the butterflies out, and the swallers at plaae'y,
An' the midders all mow'd, an' the sky sa blue?
Why, coom then, owd feller, I'll tell it to you;
For me an' my Sally we swear'd to be true,
To be true to each other, let 'appen what maaey,
Till the end of the daaey
And the last loaed hoaem.

Well sung!

Fanny be the naaeme i' the song, but I swopt it fur _she_.
[_Pointing to_ SALLY.

Let ma aloaen afoor foaelk, wilt tha?

Ye shall sing that ageaen to-night, fur owd Dobson'll gi'e us a bit o'

I weaent goae to owd Dobson; he wur rude to me i' tha haaeyfield, and
he'll be rude to me ageaen to-night. Owd Steer's gotten all his grass
down and wants a hand, and I'll goae to him.

Owd Steer gi'es nubbut cowd tea to '_is_ men, and owd Dobson gi'es

But I'd like owd Steer's cowd tea better nor Dobson's beer. Good-bye.

Gi'e us a buss fust, lass.

I tell'd tha to let ma aloaen!

Why, wasn't thou and me a-bussin' o' one another t'other side o' the
haaeycock, when owd Dobson coom'd upo' us? I can't let tha aloaen if I
would, Sally.
[Offering to kiss her.

Git along wi' ye, do! [_Exit_.
[_All laugh; exeunt singing_.

'To be true to each other, let 'appen what maaey,
Till the end o' the daae'y
An' the last loaed hoaem.'

_Enter_ HAROLD.

Not Harold! 'Philip Edgar, Philip Edgar!'
Her phantom call'd me by the name she loved.
I told her I should hear her from the grave.
Ay! yonder is her casement. I remember
Her bright face beaming starlike down upon me
Thro' that rich cloud of blossom. Since I left her
Here weeping, I have ranged the world, and sat
Thro' every sensual course of that full feast
That leaves but emptiness.


'To be true to each other, let 'appen what maaey,
To the end o' the daae'y
An' the last loaed hoaem.'

Poor Eva! O my God, if man be only
A willy-nilly current of sensations--
Reaction needs must follow revel--yet--
Why feel remorse, he, knowing that he must have
Moved in the iron grooves of Destiny?
Remorse then is a part of Destiny,
Nature a liar, making us feel guilty
Of her own faults.
My grandfather--of him
They say, that women--
O this mortal house,
Which we are born into, is haunted by
The ghosts of the dead passions of dead men;
And these take flesh again with our own flesh,
And bring us to confusion.
He was only
A poor philosopher who call'd the mind
Of children a blank page, a tabula rasa.
There, there, is written in invisible inks
'Lust, Prodigality, Covetousness, Craft,
Cowardice, Murder'--and the heat and fire
Of life will bring them out, and black enough,
So the child grow to manhood: better death
With our first wail than life--

Song (further off).

'Till the end o' the daaey
An' the last loaed hoaem,
Load hoaem.'

This bridge again! (Steps on the bridge.)
How often have I stood
With Eva here! The brook among its flowers!
Forget-me-not, meadowsweet, willow-herb.
I had some smattering of science then,
Taught her the learned names, anatomized
The flowers for her--and now I only wish
This pool were deep enough, that I might plunge
And lose myself for ever.

_Enter_ DAN SMITH (_singing_).

Gee oop! whoae! Gee oop! whoae!
Scizzars an' Pumpy was good uns to goae
Thruf slush an' squad
When roaeds was bad,
But hallus ud stop at the Vine-an'-the-Hop,
Fur boaeth on 'em knaw'd as well as mysen
That beer be as good fur 'erses as men.
Gee oop! whoae! Gee oop! whoae!
Scizzars an' Pumpy was good uns to goae.

The beer's gotten oop into my 'eaed. S'iver I mun git along back to the
farm, fur she tell'd ma to taaeke the cart to Littlechester.

_Enter_ DORA.

Half an hour late! why are you loitering here? Away with you at once.

[_Exit_ DAN SMITH.
(_Seeing_ HAROLD _on bridge_.)

Some madman, is it, Gesticulating there upon the bridge? I am half
afraid to pass.

Sometimes I wonder,
When man has surely learnt at last that all
His old-world faith, the blossom of his youth,
Has faded, falling fruitless--whether then
All of us, all at once, may not be seized
With some fierce passion, not so much for Death
As against Life! all, all, into the dark--
No more!--and science now could drug and balm us
Back into nescience with as little pain
As it is to fall asleep.
This beggarly life,
This poor, flat, hedged-in field--no distance--this
Hollow Pandora-box,
With all the pleasures flown, not even Hope
Left at the bottom!
Superstitious fool,
What brought me here? To see her grave? her ghost?
Her ghost is everyway about me here.

DORA (_coming forward_).
Allow me, sir, to pass you.



What are you? Where do you come from?

From the farm
Here, close at hand.

Are you--you are--that Dora,
The sister. I have heard of you. The likeness
Is very striking.

You knew Eva, then?

Yes--I was thinking of her when--O yes,
Many years back, and never since have met
Her equal for pure innocence of nature,
And loveliness of feature.

No, nor I.

Except, indeed, I have found it once again
In your own self.

You flatter me. Dear Eva
Was always thought the prettier.

And _her_ charm
Of voice is also yours; and I was brooding
Upon a great unhappiness when you spoke.

Indeed, you seem'd in trouble, sir.

And you
Seem my good angel who may help me from it.

DORA (_aside_).
How worn he looks, poor man! who is it, I wonder.
How can I help him? (_Aloud_.) Might I ask your name?


I never heard her mention you.

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